Marketing to Millennials and Gen Y: Build trust with authenticity

Marketing to Millennials

Authenticity may be the biggest driver in Millennial (aka Gen Y) brand selection. CGK has discovered that Millennials have split into two distinct economic groups. To win Millennials as clients, market leaders should keep this in mind. A recent Association of National Advertisers (ANA) article quotes me and other experts. They discussed Millennial consumers and their emergence into later adulthood.

One key takeaway: Many Millennials have greater distrust towards brands than previous generations. Per CGK’s research, they also focus less on advertising when choosing a brand. Instead, Millennials tend to rely on reviews from friends and family. To win over Millennials, brand leaders should prioritize authenticity, transparency, and integrity.

Meeting the high Millennial standard for authenticity

Many Millennials respond to a sense of genuine community and connection. They view brands that rely mainly on traditional advertising as inauthentic and outmoded. Millennials don’t respond well to things like touched-up images or unrealistic depictions of life.

Millennials will definitely form a relationship with certain brands. But most brands will need to build a bond with this generation using new approaches. If you commit to transparency and sharing their values, Millennials will notice you. This positions Millennials to want to learn more about your brand—which is absolutely key.

Brands should use innovative ways to demonstrate they understand, respect, and share Millennial values. Environmental awareness, social consciousness, and community involvement go a long way with this generation. Using these values in messaging will give brands an edge in winning Millennial consumers.

Strategizing around the Millennial generation’s economic split

One of CGK’s biggest discoveries is that Millennials are split economically. One group, the “Mega-llennials,” has achieved greater success by traditional metrics. They have jobs, families, and long-term goals. The other group, the “Me-llennials,” have struggled to gain traction with traditional success markers. Many are still working to pay off substantial student loan debt.

This generational split is a big deal. We now see two very different types of Millennials emerging. Millennials with student loan dept spend, on average, 20% of take-home pay on loan payments. Also, remember—the average age of a Millennial is now 32. They aren’t in their twenties anymore.

Brand leaders can develop specific marketing strategies to engage each Millennial consumer segment individually. “Mega-llennials” aren’t likely to respond to messaging for “Me-llennials,” and vice versa. Some marketers treat them as different generations entirely!

Building a strategy for marketing to Millennials at your organization

Would you like specific strategies and proven solutions for marketing to Millennials? Building authenticity, navigating the Millennial generational divide? Contact us here. We’ll set up a phone call to see how we can be a resource to you. We offer customized Millennial keynote presentations, generational research, and more. We are passionate about unlocking the potential of every generation!

Millennials Sales and Marketing


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